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Provo Attractions and the Founding Of Utah

Updated on May 28, 2015
Rock Canyon
Rock Canyon | Source

The Ute Nation, the LDS Church, and the Founding of Utah

Interestingly, Provo is located in the county named after the state itself - Utah. That name is part of Native American and European settler history in that it is derived from the Native American Nation known as the Nuutsiu or Utes, meaning People of the Mountains.

The word Ute may come from a Spanish or Apache word similar to yudah (Utah) or yuttahih ("they who are higher up") that was first used around 1598 when Spaniards met the seven different bands of Utes in what is not Utah and the surrounding states. They trace themselves to the ancient Anasazi of 1,000 AD. Provo, the word, comes from the last name of a French Canadian fur trapper that had worked in the area and was known to the Mormon settlers arriving in 1849 from Salt Lake City.

Petroglyphs of the Utes.
Petroglyphs of the Utes. | Source

The Utes and Mountains

Loosely stated, Utah is the land of the Ute Nation or the "Land of the Mountain People." The Utes also provided the names for two of their local mountain ranges in US National Forests - the Unita and the Wasatch ("low place among mountains"). The Wasatch Front that is described in the next section contains most of the population of Utah, connected by ongoing suburban development in several of the largest cities so that one suburb meets another in a chain of living areas.

The Ute Mountain Tribe community of Utes is found online at Weeminuche - Ute Mountain Ute Tribe.The Utes live largely in Utah and Colorado and employee approximately 1,000 people in their business enterprises.

Little Cottonwood Canyon


Provo, North Central Utah Area

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A markerProvo, Utah -
Provo, UT, USA
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B markerAlta, Utah -
Alta, UT, USA
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Cecret Lake in the Albion Basin area near Alta, Utah, north of Provo.
Cecret Lake in the Albion Basin area near Alta, Utah, north of Provo. | Source

Meaning of the Name "Alta"

The name Alta means elevated and Alta, Utah is about 45 miles from Provo, offering a mountain ski resort enjoyed by over half a million people a year.

During World War II, US paratroopers from an official mountain regiment trained on the mountains in this area. The link features mountain cams and a breathtaking virtual tour.

As Mormon/LDS settlers entered the area around a 50-mile radius encompassing Salt Lake City, Provo, and Orem in the 19th century; peace was reached with the local Native Americans. The settlers founded Provo and the Provo LDS Temple, along with Brigham Young University and the largest Mission Training Center of the LDS Church in America.

The Utes remain largely in adjacent Colorado today, but still hold a total of approximately 600,000 acres of land in Colorado and Utah and to a lesser extent in New Mexico and Arizona. On this land, the Ute Mountain nation operates a Ute Park & Musuem with an 80-mile tour, a casino resort and hotel, a large pottery factory, a large RV park, and other businesses.

Brigham Young University

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Provo football fansThe university campus.
Provo football fans
Provo football fans | Source
The university campus.
The university campus. | Source

Additional Provo Attractions

You can enjoy these places and activities on a trip to Provo:

  • Cabela's - Famous outdoors store with 150,000 square feet of floor space.
  • Fly Fishing Guides. 44 W 100 S. Heber City; UT 84032
  • Haunted Forest. 1015 S. 500 E.; American Fork, UT 84003
  • Monte L Bean Science Museum, 645 E. 1430 N.; Provo, UT 84602
  • Mount Timpanogos - Wasatch Mountains.
  • Provo Utah Temple, LDS
  • Salt Lake City Attractions
  • Sundance Resort - Provo Canyon. Voted in the Top Ten U.S. Resorts by the Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Award.
  • Stagecoach Inn Museum. 18035 W. 1540 N.; Cedar Valley, UT 84013
  • Tandem Paragliding Flights. 166 E. 400 N. Orem; UT 84057
  • West Jordan and suburbs

The view from Mt. Timpanogos.
The view from Mt. Timpanogos. | Source

Provo Temple

Historic Downtown Provo

The revitalization of Downtown Provo since the late 1990s has boosted Tourism dollars eared as well as increased the quality of life and provided new businesses, living spaces, and jobs for additional residents. Further, the crome rate of provo is significantly below that of the State of Utah and the US as a whole, making Provo a safe place to live and work.

The Downtown Alliance encourages several events that include on ongoing Restaurant of the Month feature, a Farmers Market, Freedom Days in July, Freedom Festival, Winterfest, a Christmas Lights Contest among businesses, an Old Fashioned Christmas, A Christmas Parade, A Living Nativity, and other seasonal events. A public arts program includes sculptures, outdoor historical murals, storefront galleries, a program to commission art works from local artisans for public display, and the monthly First Friday Gallery Stroll.

Downtown also offers concerts, night clubs, and other entertainment venues, including Salsa Chocolate that features Salsa dancing and partaking from chocolate fountains.

The Wasatch Mountains just east of Salt Lake City and Provo-Orem Metro Area prevent suburbs from building out to the West. The suburbs extend to the north and south along the front. Instead of a waterfront we have the mountain front - Wasatch Front.
The Wasatch Mountains just east of Salt Lake City and Provo-Orem Metro Area prevent suburbs from building out to the West. The suburbs extend to the north and south along the front. Instead of a waterfront we have the mountain front - Wasatch Front.

Life Along the Wasatch Mountains

The Provo-Orem Metro Area in Utah is listed as Number Eleven (11) on's Top 30 Cities for Jobs in the US. It received this distinction at the end of 2008. The metropolitan area spans the two counties of Utah and Juab, including about 500,000 people and about 1/2 of the Ute's Native American lands and reservation.

We see by examining the population density of Utah in the image to the right that most of the state's residents are lined up roughly north to south from somewhere above Salt Lake City to approximately 50 miles south of Provo (yellow, orange and red areas in the north of the state).

Utah Sustainability

Sustainability and alternative energy production have become targets for government and businesses in Provo and the surrounding metro area. Provo and Orem both emphasize recycling to their residents and receive significant support in this effort. Provo also offers a Composting Station.

Provo Alternative Energy works to prdouce energy from methane, biofuels, wind, geothermal, and other alternatives.

Slow Food Utah is a statewide organization that promotes a healthier lifestyle without the waste inherent to the fast food society. Buy Local First helps in this work as well as to promote local businesses. In addition, Provo is home to a local Food Co-op.

At the University level, the BYU Center for Economic Self-Reliance helps families become self-reliant while observing sustainability practices. Its academic research center helps to develop methods of achieving economic self-reliance in the community and the state. In doing this, BYU addresses the issues of poverty and dependence as well as environmental protection and stewardship.

A Regional Office for Foods not Bombs is also located on Provo. This activist group provides free vegetarian cuisine to the poor, to victims of terrorist attacks, and to rescue workers in a promotion of anti-terrorist and anti-violence stands.

Largest Employers in Provo

  1. Brigham Young University (BYU)
  2. BYU Hospitals - Part of the university named above.
  3. Utah Valley Regional Med Center
  4. Utah Valley State College
  5. ASAC UTAH - Resort areas.
  6. Novell, Inc.
  7. APX Alarm Security Solutions
  8. Central Utah Medical Clinic
  9. Convergys Customer Mgmt of Greater Utah
  10. US Synthetic - Diamond cutters and drill bits.

Top 10 Jobs in The Greater Provo Area

Jobs In Highest Demand In and Around Provo

  1. Computer Specialists - Database and other administrators, Engineers, Software Developers, and others.
  2. Teachers for Primary, Secondary and Special Education - K-12, inclusive.
  3. Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical & Vocational Nurses - includes Travel Nursing.
  4. Pharmacy Technicians
  5. Healthcare Support Jobs
  6. Food & Beverage Service - Wait staff, counter people, bartenders, etc.
  7. Retail Salespersons
  8. Personal Care and Service - Health & personal aides.
  9. Information and Records Clerks
  10. Constructions Trades - Journeymen professionals and helpers

Additional High Demand Jobs

  • Management & Business Operations Speciailists
  • Financial Advisors and Analysts
  • Postsecondary Teachers - College and vocational level education.
  • Engineers and Technicians - includes Environmental Engineering and Sustainability.

Jobs Available in Provo-Orem Metro Area

Jobs listed locally include:

  • Utah Valley Jobs - Jobs in and around Provo, arranged by category and further, by Job Title. Very organized, professional site offered by

Higher Education In the Provo Area

Osmonds, Generation II Opens for Rockapella in Orem, 12/31/08

© 2009 Patty Inglish


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    • eovery profile image

      eovery 9 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      Provo is on my list of one of the areas I would like to live.

    • Netters profile image

      Netters 9 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

      Another great hub Patty! Thank you.